How to Explain

(Flickr photo by macieklew)

Back in the ’40s and ’50s, long before they got as complicated as they are now, Mom could fix a car. She could also fix a transistor radio and virtually any other small appliance. She was able to do this because of the male influences in her life, but also because she was interested. She has always wanted to know “what’s in back of behind,” as she puts it. How things run, what makes them tick.

Had the internet debuted and become huge before her macular degeneration did, she would’ve loved it. She would’ve loved exploring the net, but also keeping up with all the technology involved with computers–gadgets and programs alike. They wouldn’t have addled her brain like they do mine.

As it is, all she knows about the internet is what she sees on TV: it’s dangerous and evil. Stalkers stalk, con artists con, hackers hack–and identities are stolen. All this, in spite of the fact that virtually every news agency now has Facebook and Twitter pages.

So you can imagine how she responded to hearing I have business that’s conducted in cyberspace and that I’m an associate editor of a publishing company she’s never heard of.

She started with: “How do you know these people are who they say they are? They could be dangerous!”

From there, she moved to: “Yes, but it’s not a real job.”

And, my personal favorite: “But it’s not real money.”

I did the best I could to explain something I barely understand to someone who doesn’t understand at all. I’m not sure how well I did, but she seemed a little more comfortable.

Who would’ve thought how much could be done without anything physical passing between “real” people. Not even a handshake. I have no idea what some of the people I communicate with daily look like. Some of them keep their personal lives so very personal, I don’t even know if they’re married, how old they are, whether they have kids.

But one thing I know: Dangerous people have an agenda. Given time, you can see what they’re made of and where they’re coming from, because meeting their agenda is vital to them. Just as a wolf in sheep’s clothing will begin to salivate when he smells his prey, so will evil people display tell-tale signs of their intent. Norton Security System can protect my computer, but watching for these signs and listening to that soft voice in my head are what protect me.

I may not know everything about the computer, but I’ve learned how to protect myself in a variety of ways while I’m on it.

As to “It’s not real money,” the check for my groceries didn’t bounce.

Now that I’ve explained to the best of my abilities and she’s a little less worried, she is excited about calling her daughter an editor. She may have trouble explaining it to her friends, but she still loves telling them.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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6 Responses to How to Explain

  1. Winter Peck says:

    Speaking of being wary, my twins just got a strip down from me about a week ago. We allow them a bit of free rein while being online with the knowledge that Mom or Dad could walk in the living room at any time and see what they’re doing, and also know that there are only certain places they’re allowed to go.

    Twin #2 signed up for a website that he was already told not to go to. I only found out cause twin #1 gave him my e-mail address and the site e-mailed me. I was so upset with them for doing this and using my business e-mail for it. I canceled their account with the site and warned them the next time they do it, I would start putting filters on the computer and lock them out.

    I want them to be computer/net savvy, but wary. We’re still holding out on letting the 2 older ones have an e-mail address right now. The spam that hits inboxes is just outrageous and the boys aren’t aware of what’s a legit e-mail or not.

    I’m still so happy that this job is working out for you!

    Like

    • pprmint777 says:

      I’d be one fretful mother if I had kids in this day and age. Bad enough worrying about my grandkids! I doubt I’d let them look at their e-mails until I’d been through to at least read the subject lines and delete the spam myself.

      I’m afraid they’d hate me. I’d be over their shoulders every time they entered cyberspace!

      Like

  2. Sandra King says:

    The world is getting smaller. And sometimes I’m less afraid of the internet than I am of stepping outside my house! And some of my virtual friends are more real than than the friends I can touch.

    I think. Is Linda really your name? Is that really your picture?

    Like

    • pprmint777 says:

      LOL, Sandy! It’s true–there is no real way of knowing.

      But I’m the same way. It seems I have more cyberpals than physical friends because everyone I know is so busy. I remember playing bridge with one lady on Pogo, and when she died, I cried for a week.

      I believe we develop real friendships in cyberspace, and if we don’t get to meet in this life, we’ll be able to in the next.

      Look for me!

      Like

  3. K.M. Weiland says:

    My mum and grandmother are the same way. Watch out for the evil Internet! Got my mom an iTouch for Christmas, so we’re slowly indoctrinating her into the world of technology. 😉

    Like

  4. pprmint777 says:

    Unless I miss my guess, your mother is a little younger than me and your grandmother is a bit younger than my mom. Your mother will probably love this once she gets into it!

    Like

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